Despite only having a relatively short 94-minute running time, Source Code is a far more impactful film than others that are a good 40-50 minutes longer, the reason in part is the efficiency of director Duncan Jones.
Life was one of the bigger disappointments for me this year with a respectable cast and interesting, if not familiar, story that clearly took cues from Ridley Scott’s Alien. But while the execution was okay, though I didn’t find anything all that’s suspenseful, the script was a mess and perhaps a good re-write could’ve made a difference.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced the date and released artwork for the sci-fi horror, Life starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson and Ryan Reynolds and directed by Daniel Espinosa. Click on the link below or image to the left to check out the features and artwork.
Needless to say, Everest isn’t exactly a lighthearted adventure flick but in spite of that, and some so-so writing, the performances from the ensemble cast, Jason Clarke and Josh Brolin especially, makes it worthwhile, though for myself, I’m not sure if I’d ever revisit it. The Blu-ray released by Universal offers excellent video and audio transfers and a fine selection of bonus material.
Needless to say The Beast (Le Bete) is certainly one of the more… unusual films I’ve come across. However, it’s not for everybody and frankly, as strange as it is, and actually the performances aren’t half bad all things considered, I’m not sure if this is one I’ll ever revisit.
I’m not entirely sure how Aloha got off the ground but as one of the subjects of the Sony hack, it might’ve been doomed from the get-go and for good reason: it’s a film with a haphazard plot but worst of all, the cast share absolutely no chemistry in spite of featuring some fine actors. Bottom line, this is a movie destined for the bargain bin and later air on USA.
Beyond the Lights is one of the better surprises to come out of 2014 with a compelling, if not formulaic melodramatic, story that is highlighted by a breakout performance by Gugu Mbatha-Raw who hopefully finds more lead roles beyond television. The Blu-ray released by Fox includes a decent amount of bonus material and fantastic video/audio transfers.
Laggies is an uneven drama-comedy but it propped up and propelled by a charming performance from the cute and adorable Keira Knightley proving she can excel in spite of any issues with the screenplay, in this case it’s just not a memorable story. Sam Rockwell also works well opposite Knightley and although she’s nothing overly noteworthy, Chloe Grace Moretz turns in a passable performance.
Nightcrawler is one of the more stomach-churning films but not for the violence but Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance proving once again, following great turns in Prisoners and Zodiac, to be a versatile actor. But even putting him aside, Dan Gilroy’s satirical screenplay is just one other reason to see this film, it’s akin to a dark and grittier version of Network.
Prisoners is certainly one of the better movies to come out of 2013, though I do think it was a tad overrated given the hype. However, the performances from Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal are brilliant and the atmosphere brought by Villeneuve and DP Deakins is absolutely absorbing.
Rendition is an OK film shining light on a controversial practice but the drama is overwrought with over-the-top acting especially from Reese Witherspoon who seemed to have taken the role aiming for another Academy Award. But Meryl Streep and Alan Arkin are quite good in their limited roles.